Anti-Terrorism Fantasy Camps Become Tourist Attraction In Israel

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These part-propaganda, part-morbid fantasy “terror camps” provide tourists a chance to play the role of IDF soldiers in dramatic situations.

 

Holidays are all about having fun, exploring new places and relaxing in the sun. However, the latest tourist attraction in Israel seems to be the complete opposite of that.

Apparently, half a dozen of fantasy terror camps have popped up throughout Israel and the West Bank, offering tourists from across the globe a chance to pretend-kill terrorists, who look suspiciously like Palestinian Arabs, only for $115 per person.

These facilities allow visitors to train like IDF soldiers and act in a variety of stimulated situations — including an explosion at a Jerusalem marketplace, a stabbing attack, a sniper tournament and a live demonstration with attack dogs.

The two-hour “training camp,” which is frankly part-propaganda and part-morbid amusement, provides travelers “a taste of the Israeli military experience,” according to Haaretz.

Caliber 3 in the Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion in the West Bank is reportedly the most popular of all these “anti-terror” camps. IDF Colonel Sharon Gat established the facility, which later inspired several others across the country, back in 2003. He said approximately 15,000 to 25,000 tourists visit Caliber 3 each year and the majority of the visitors are American Jews.

However, in recent years, these military stimulation sites, which do nothing but promote the anti-Palestinian sentiment, have also gained massive popularity among travelers from Brazil, Argentina, France, Italy, Russia and China — even those who are on work-related trips and religious pilgrimages.

It is also important to note the tourists use actual guns and have former soldiers and retired officials to guide them.

So what inspired Gat to set up such a macabre activity center?

“One day, I sat there wondering whether a Jew in the death camp of Auschwitz could have ever dreamed that an academy like this would ever exist in Israel and that it would train members of the German army,” he explained. “And then I said to myself that I am going to open this place to the public to show what a long way the Jewish people have come in 75 years.”

Apart from entertaining tourists, sites like Caliber 3 also provide training to security personnel and sell hard-core military equipment — along with T-shirts and other merchandise.

Moreover, Gat’s facility also runs a summer camp for teenage boys. The three-month camp includes training and lessons on Zionism and survival skills, according to RT.

Thumbnail Credits: Reuters

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